Week Ten Blog Activity – Practical: Review my blog

All

10 weeks, 30 blog entries and far too many words to count has led to this – the end of my blog. I enjoyed writing each blog entry throughout the term and have gained a considerable amount of knowledge from this media writing course. However, as the term comes to a close, the end of one assessment allows me to redirect my time to another.

So without further ado, here is my review:

The layout of my blog is clean, easy to read and navigate. I kept the layout of my blog minimalistic and easy to digest. I used the same font, colour and size for each blog post.

I have completed a total of 30 blog entries which is the required amount for assessment two. I have referred to the blog task requirements sheet to ensure that I have covered each week’s blog activities.

The major challenges I faced throughout this assessment were keeping up to date with each blog activity and peer-reviewing. Although keeping up to date with the weekly tasks proved to be difficult, I honestly believe that all of my blog tasks have been quite thorough and go beyond a “brief reflection”.

Keeping up with the peer-review each week was quite difficult for me. The bulk of my peer reviews started in week 8 because I didn’t devote enough time to the task throughout the term.

I’m really glad that I worked on the assessment throughout the term and didn’t leave it to the last minute. The review of peers on my blog also helped me to a great deal. Having other students review my blog helped me to correct the punctuation and grammar mistakes that I would’ve lost marks on.

I think the assessment task is appropriately set up and encourages students to keep up to date throughout the term. I didn’t find the weekly activities too involved or too difficult and I think that the weekly content is set out really well and is easy to work through.

My writing skills have improved greatly thanks to the blog activities. I’ve learnt to write shorter sentences, space out my paragraphs more and to read my work out loud to pick up mistakes. I’ve become aware of my grammar and punctuation, the use of ‘it’s/its’ and redundant words.

I’m very happy with my attempt and hope that my efforts are reflected in my grade.

That’s all folks!


Reference:

That’s all Folks! 2015, digital image, Looney Tunes Wiki, viewed on 17 September 2015, <http://looneytunes.wikia.com/wiki/That’s_All_Folks>.


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Week Ten Blog Activity – Practical: Review my blog

Week Ten Blog Activity – Inquiry: Visual Consumer review

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Figure 1.1 – Bunnings Warehouse
Source: Bunnings Warehouse website (2015)

For this week’s blog activity, I’ve chose Bunnings Warehouse as the website to review. I’ll admit, I’m a nerd when it comes to all things gardening. Bunnings is my ultimate shop – an odd thing to come from a 21 year-old female. I could spend hours wandering the aisles, spending a lot of money and making my gardens and home look fantastic –  if I do say so myself.

As I was reading through this week’s study guide, it occurred to me that Bunnings Warehouse would be an ideal website to cover. The website addresses all the elements mentioned in the study guide and made it quite easy to relay the week’s learnings to real life.

Words
The use of words correctly is paramount for the Bunnings Warehouse website. Visitors of the website need to be able to understand precisely what an object is, how it looks and what it is used for. Each item’s description needs to incorporate concrete words accompanied by qualifier words (Ames 2015) to help the consumer understand what they’re reading.

This example uses concrete words and qualifier words to enable the visitor to understand the product. “Lattice” is the concrete word, without anything else the consumer wouldn’t know too much detail about the product. “Brown, Hardwood” are the qualifier words; these are descriptive and enable the consumer to envision the product and interpret as intended.
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Figure 1.2 – Excerpt Lattice Fencing
Source: Bunnings Warehouse website (2015)

Logos

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Figure 1.3 Bunnings Warehouse logo – Figure 1.4 Bunnings Warehouse motto
Source: Bunnings Warehouse website (2015)

The Bunnings Warehouse logos follow the KISS principle – an easy to read, simple design that is eye-catching. These logos both provides a very effective example brand recognition.

According to Gillikin (2015, p.1) a logo is a ‘graphical display of a company’s unique identity’. The logos are recognisable and identifiable to consumers throughout Australia. Figure 1.4 is an example of relaying a message through a logo (Ames 2015). Bunnings have incorporated a hammer as part of their logo – this conveys information about the company and allows readers to gain and understanding that Bunnings Warehouse is a hardware store.


Trademarks
I was unable to find any registered or pending trademarks of Bunnings/Bunnings Warehouse/ Lowest prices are just the beginning. I searched the web address provided and it showed no results. Even though Bunnings does not have a registered trade mark, the phrase “lowest prices are just the beginning” and the image of a hammer in a circle are widely consumer-known trademarks of Bunnings.

Colour
Bunnings Warehouse’s signature colour is dark green, which according to Ames (2015 2015) is reflective of nature and safety. The signature green is a secondary hue made of blue and yellow which has a low colour value with a lower saturation.

The background colours of the website are primarily neutral and natural colours. The colours featured are grey, black, the signature green and red highlights. The website addresses the rule indicated by Ames (2015, p.3) of ‘light coloured fonts on dark coloured backgrounds’.

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Figure 1.5 – Bunnings Warehouse Menu
Source: Bunnings Warehouse website (2015)


Font
The font throughout the Bunnings website is simple and easy to read. I suspect they use a sans serif font as the this style would be most effective for the website. This selection of font is easier to understand and interpret (Ames 2015).


Graphics
The graphics used on the website are pictures of the products that the company sells. According to Ames (2015, p.4) ‘graphics assist understanding and complement the message’. The website uses photos and illustrations to provide extra information about a product. The photos used are high resolution, clear and compliment the message of the product.

Where not an image is unavailable, the website features an illustration that is a representation of the product.

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Figure 1.6 – Fencing Accessory
Source: Bunnings Warehouse website (2015)

Balance
The Bunnings Warehouse website has a range of styles depending on what page you click on. The products page features an asymmetrical balance – the left hand side of the page contains a navigation bar, the centre of the page contains the product listing and the right hand side is blank. The welcome page of the website is symmetrical; there is a even amount of information down the centre of the web page and no where else on the page.

Sound
The website doesn’t contain sound unless the viewer opts to watch a D.I.Y video. However, Bunnings Warehouse have a signature jingle that accompanies advertisements and the companies slogan (Ames 2015).

Reflection: I enjoyed completing this task for week ten. Partially because it is one of the final blog activities and partially because I enjoy applying the learnings to aspects of life.

Whilst reading through the study guide and referring it to something familiar, it was interesting to see the strategies and tactics companies use in order to create brand recognition.


Reference:

Ames, K 2015, COMM11007 Week 10 – Impact of design, Central Queensland University, Mackay.

Bunnings Warehouse 2015, viewed on 17 September 2015, available from http://www.bunnings.com.au/?gclid=CLmcys7C_8cCFcUrvQodwqQMuQ

Gillikin, J n.d, ‘Importance of Logos in Business‘, viewed 17 September 2015, http://smallbusiness.chron.com/importance-logos-business-577.html

Week Ten Blog Activity – Inquiry: Visual Consumer review

Week Nine Blog Activity – Inquiry: Review two examples of curation

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Trip Advisor’s compilation of the best 25 hotels in the world is a example of effective, succinct curation. According to Bhargava (2011, cited in Michiel Gaasterland), effective content curation involves ‘sharing the best and most relevant content on a specific issue’.

Trip advisor has achieved this by using reviews from its customers that accompany illustrations to add value to the piece (Bradshaw 2013). This is an effective strategy as readers can relate to these reviews; they are real reviews from people who have experienced the hotels.

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CNT’s collection of gold standard hotels is very informative. Gaasterland (2011) acknowledges that good curation involves using only the most specific and best information.

CNT has provided a walk-through description of each hotel; they provide information on aspects of the hotel that the reader would be interested in knowing – the food, the grounds, what activities are available etc.

The website accompanies limited visual aid to the hotel information. This results in the reader having to be directed elsewhere from the site to view the hotel in more depth.

Both of these websites are targeted at an audience for an intended purpose – to provide them with information on the best hotels for 2015 (Ames 2015). Although very similar in target audience and intended purpose, both are very different in design.

Trip Advisor’s website is very clean, well set out and easy to read. Each hotel is promoted succinctly; each section provides 4 images and a short quote taken from customer reviews from the original hotel page.

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Each section features a “more” option that will redirect the reader to the hotel’s Trip Advisor page that features all the excess information that the reader may require.

CNT’s website is condensed to the point of clutter; each section on the featured hotel is one large paragraph. Although this paragraph is very informative, it is difficult to read and could deter the reader due to overwhelming information.

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CNT provides direct links to the featured hotel’s website. The website provides an overview of the hotel and then redirects the reader elsewhere. This could disruption could be annoying to the consumer as they then have to navigate another website.

Reflection: Reviewing both of these websites was quite enjoyable and appealed to the wanderlust in me. It’s very interesting to see how two websites with the same intended audience and purpose can vary so greatly in design.

If I was to (and I’m sure I will) recommend, or choose a website for personal use, Trip Advisor would be my selection. This is mostly due to previous experience with the company and the easy to navigate website. Content curation was a foreign concept to me, but now I have a better understanding thanks to the internet and links provided in this week’s learning material.


Reference List:

Ames, K 2015, COMM11007 Week 9 – Content Generation vs Content Collaboration, Central Queensland University, Mackay.

Bradsaw, P 2013, ‘Journalism *is* curation: tips on curation tools and techniques‘, viewed on 17 September 2015, http://onlinejournalismblog.com/2013/09/30/curation-tools-tips-advice-journalism/

Condé Nast Traveller (CNT) 2015, Gold Standard Hotels 2015,  viewed on 17 September 2015, http://www.cntraveller.com/awards/the-gold-list/gold-standard-hotels-2015/viewall

Gaasterland, M 2011, ‘What is Content Curation? And how it’s useful to you and your network‘, viewed on 17 September 2015, http://www.michielgaasterland.com/content-marketing/what-is-content-curation-and-how-it%E2%80%99s-useful-to-you-and-your-network/

Percolate 2012, What is curation?, video, viewed on 17 September 2015, https://vimeo.com/38524181

Trip Advisor 2015, ‘Top 25 Hotels – World‘, viewed on 17 September 2015, http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/TravelersChoice-Hotels-g1

Week Nine Blog Activity – Inquiry: Review two examples of curation

Week Nine Blog Activity – Practical: Review a peers storify

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(https://storify.com/MW_Heather/shalom-markets-bundaberg)

For this week’s blog activity, I have decided to review the Storify of Heather Rhebein. Heather has chosen the Shalom Markets in Bundaberg as her event.

The audience for this particular piece are the locals and visitors from across the Wide-Bay and Burnett region

Because of Heather’s in depth and informative recollection of the event, the Storify provided me with plenty of information about the Shalom Markets.

There is a weekly market held at Shalom College in Bundaberg. This is an opportunity for local farmers and growers to sell their produce and encourages locals to support their local businesses. There are stalls set up by locals where they can sell their own knick-knacks and treasures. These markets host a family friendly atmosphere, with plenty of activities catering for children such as jumping castles, face-painting and pony rides.

The only thing I could think to make this story more interesting would be the addition of more photos. I think that Heather has incorporated plenty of quotes and has interviewed enough people from different demographics in order to gain a well-rounded response to the event.

The structure itself is really well set out and flows quite well. My only constructive criticism is that the pictures could be arranged better with their corresponding paragraph. For example, Heather introduces Margret Thompson the candle maker, and then features a picture of jewellery before she features a picture of Margaret’s candles. This is the only area that I’ve picked up on, I cannot fault the rest of the Storify.

I’m really impressed with the way that Heather has gone about this event. I think that all of the quotes and interviews she has included have been worked in to the story really well.

Heather has given the reader a very thorough description of the event and supported this with photographic evidence. I think that Heather has incorporated appropriate photos for the event, and my only criticism is that maybe she could’ve included more.

Really great job Heather, I hope this review helps.


Reference:

Rhebein, H 2015, Shalom markets Bundaberg, Storify, viewed 16 September 2015, <https://storify.com/MW_Heather/shalom-markets-bundaberg>.


Week Nine Blog Activity – Practical: Review a peers storify

Week Four Blog Activity- Inquiry: Review the following two pieces ..

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One of the main issues with this story was that the headline and body of the piece tell different stories. The headline claims that Robert Pattinson talks with Dave O’Neil about Pattinson’s new film, The Rover. The body of the piece involves O’Neil talking primarily about Pattinson’s rise to fame and his body guard Dean, with little to no quoted conversation regarding the movie. The headline attracted me as a reader, but quickly lost me when the rest of the piece dragged on about useless information surrounding the star’s love life and body guard who was present at the time of the ‘interview’.

Talking points are essential so that the interviewed talent can consider their response to possible questions (Ames 2015). This soft news piece had no talking points; there was nothing prepared for the journalist to ask the interviewee. According to Whitaker, Ramsey and Smith (2012, pg. 141) ‘great interviews result from substantial efforts on the part of the interviewer’. This interview had no talking points, no interview questions prepared and no key messages. There was no substance to the interview.

Unfortunately, the piece was uninteresting and did not develop the headline as the body progressed. All is not lost though, as this piece provides strong argument in support of talking points and planning for the event. Whitaker, Ramsey and Smith (2012, pg. 156) provide a fantastic insight into improving interviewing skills, perhaps O’Neil should pick up a copy.

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This media release is well structured and straight to the point. This piece is supported by credible evidence. It contains important news values such as proximity, impact and currency.

This piece contains the important elements that a well-written news piece should; accuracy, brevity, and clarity (Ames 2015). The key messages for this piece have been developed when writing the release.

Throughout the piece, each statement is referred back to the survey conducted by AgForce. The way the facts and survey have been incorporated into this media release present the reader with hard-hitting credible evidence. The release is precise and to the point; it doesn’t drag on or present unnecessary information.

This piece emphasises the importance of well-structured sentences and the organisation of important aspects of a piece in the correct order.


Reference:

AgForce Queensland 2015, ‘Drought worse in living memory: AgForce survey‘, 20 May, viewed on 09 August 2015, http://www.agforceqld.org.au/index.php?tgtPage=news&id=view,478

CQUniversity 2015, COMM11007 – Week 4 – Writing News Study Guide, CQUniversity, Mackay, viewed on 09 August 2015.

O’Neil, D 2014, ‘Robert Pattinson talks about his new film, The Rover, with Dave O’Neil’, 16 June, Sydney Morning Herald Entertainment, viewed on 09 August 2015, http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/robert-pattinson-talks-about-his-new-film-the-rover-with-dave-oneil-20140619-zs99j.html

Whitaker, WR, Ramsey, JE & Smith, RD 2012, Media Writing: Print, Broadcast and Public Relations, 4th edition, Routledge, New York.


Week Four Blog Activity- Inquiry: Review the following two pieces ..

Week Three Blog Activity – Inquiry: Review an event or issue of interest …

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‘Case brought against mine alleged environment minister Greg Hunt approved project without regard for conservation advice for two endangered species’

The lead for this news piece attempts to set a negative tone toward environment minister Greg Hunt by stating his actions were ‘without regard for conservation..’ The lead is engaging and captures the readers attention through the use of two news values; Prominence and controversy.

According to Whitaker, Ramsey and Smith (2012, p. 20) ‘Names make news'” and the people involved in this story are prominent political and environmental protection figures.

Controversy involves a difference of opinion and this particular environmental matter would incur a variety of opinions (Whitaker, Ramsey and Smith, 2012). This lead only relays the who, what and why of the story being presented. The lead is very short and doesn’t contain all the information that it needs to (the 5 W’s and H).

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Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 3.52.25 pm‘Federal Court sets aside Adani’s environmental approval to build Australia’s largest coal mine in the Galilee Basin following a legal challenge from the Mackay Conservation Group

Unlike The Guardian’s piece on the same topic, this news piece captures the readers attention through an unbiased lead presents facts of the whole story. The lead succinctly answers the who, what, where and why. The lead addresses many different news values including those found in The Guardian’s piece; Prominence and controversy. Proximity is a major news value as this lead mentions a location, and relaying news to people in nearby areas is crucial (Whitaker, Ramsey and Smith, 2012).

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‘The approval of Adani’s Carmichael coal mine in central Queensland has been declared invalid by the Federal Court because of a bureaucratic bungle over two vulnerable species.’

This news piece, intended for online media use features an effective eye-catching lead through use of the term ‘bureaucratic bungle’ to catch the readers attention. The lead addresses the who, what, where and why of the story. This particular lead features multiple news values; prominence, proximity, controversy, currency. Currency is a relevant news value in this story as it has the potential to be an on-going news story and issue to parties involved (Ames 2015)

This particular story interests me as it’s not too dissimilar from an event that happened in my home town a few yeas ago. I lived in Bowen when the topic of the Abbot Point Expansion was hot in the media. The expansion brought about contention from environmental groups concerned with the well-being and conservation of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. These groups were concerned with the drastic, negative impact the expansion and accompanying development would have on the area. Unfortunately, it seems the battle between industrialisation and environmental conservation is still a major issue in central Queensland.

Reflection: This story was quite enjoyable to review as the topic is very similar to an event that happened in my home town a few years ago. I’m enjoying being able to refer my blog activities back to the textbook, study guides and weekly learnings. I feel like I’m getting a grasp on the practical and technical activities, and am enjoying the learnings so far.


Reference:

Australian Broadcasting Corporation 2015 ‘Approval of Adani’s $16-billion Carmichael coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin ruled invalid by Federal Court‘, viewed 05 August 2015, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-05/federal-court-overturns-approval-of-adanis-carmichael-coal-mine/6673734

Cox, L 2015, ‘Federal court overturns approval of Adani Carmichael coal mine in Queensland’, Sunday Morning Herald, 5 August, viewed on 05 August 2015, http://www.smh.com.au/business/mining-and-resources/federal-court-overturns-approval-of-adani-carmichael-coal-mine-in-queensland-20150805-girtz9?utm_content=buffer9d97a&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

CQUniversity 2015, COMM11007 – Week 3 – Identifying News study guide, CQUniversity, Mackay.

Robertson, J, Milman, O 2015, ‘Approval for Adani’s Carmichael coalmine overturned by federal court’ Guardian, 5 August, viewed on 05 August 2015 http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/aug/05/approval-for-adanis-carmichael-coalmine-overturned-by-federal-court

Whitaker, WR, Ramsey, JE & Smith, RD 2012, Media Writing: Print, Broadcast and Public Relations, 4th edition, Routledge, New York.


Week Three Blog Activity – Inquiry: Review an event or issue of interest …

Week Two Blog Activity – Inquiry: Review Trendsmap

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Figure 1.2 – What’s trending
Source: Trendsmap (2015)

Currently trending in my area:

#5yearsofonedirection  #labor #choppergate #abc #apmas #brisbane #auspol #bentekelfc      @billshortenmp @avfcofficial @abcnews @612brisbane @markdistef @mscott

#5yearsofonedirection

One Direction have certainly cemented their place in the music industry in the short time they have been together. The group have taken the spotlight today as they celebrate their fifth year anniversary as a band. Twitter is exploding with the hashtag #5yearsofonedirection as 1Directioners pay homage to the group with copious amounts of fandom posts. Entertainment websites such as E!Online and Cosmopolitan have featured tweets from the group in their articles. (see below)

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Click here for link to cosmopolitan                         Click here for link to E!Online

#abc @abcnews

Another trending tag today was #abc and @abcnews regarding recent news about the closures of ABC shops nationwide and the redundancy of its employees. Due to the progression of bricks and mortar stores “going online”, stores such as the ABC are finding it increasingly difficult to compete in a world where once they held a strong foothold in the area of DVD’s, CD’s and merchandise.

The store’s are switching to online services only, resulting in the closure of over 50 stores nationwide, and a loss of 300 jobs. Reputable news outlets have been covering this story such as ABC News.

Managing Director, Mark Scott has been fielding backlash and tweeting regarding the closure of these stores and what it means for ABC employees. The Australian has been the only media that have featured Mark Scott’s tweets in their news article so far.

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The story of One Direction is an international news story. This story is relevant throughout the world and has been relayed through international media coverage. The ABC story highlights the relationship between tweets and national media. At the point of writing this blog, I have only found evidence of news websites using tweets from the Managing Director of the ABC, Mark Scott such as the ones I have mentioned. I’m unsure whether E!Online or Cosmopolitan would be classified as ‘news websites’, however both of these websites feature tweets from One Direction.

Neither of these stories have been used to promote an issue at such time. However, I believe that if One Direction were to announce a tour, these tweets would be used to promote the tour.

Reflection:

It became worryingly apparent to me today that I am quite out of the loop when it comes to social media. Today, I only just got a handle on what is a twitter handle (thank you urban dictionary). I find it alarming that in a changing world that becomes increasingly reliant on social media each passing day, I’m stuck in the background, completely oblivious. However, we live in a tech-savvy world where almost all our news is breaking online the instant it happens. Almost everything in our daily lives is now instant.

This task confused me a little as I was unsure how to answer “the relationship between the tweets and news stories in the local media”. I believe that I’ve addressed the questions asked in the task and provided proof.


Reference:

Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2015 ‘ABC shops to be closed, jobs to go as retailer moves online‘, 23 July, viewed 23 July 2015  http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-23/abc-shops-to-be-phased-out-and-closed/6641476

Cosmopolitan, 2015 ‘Important Reminder: Harry Styles loves you and every other 1D fan‘, 22 July, viewed 23 July 2015, http://www.cosmopolitan.com/entertainment/news/a43739/important-reminder-harry-styles-loves-you-and-every-other-1d-fan/

E!Online, 2015 ‘Harry Styles pens sweet note to fans on One Directions 5-year anniversary‘  viewed 23 July 2015, http://au.eonline.com/news/679114/harry-styles-pens-sweet-note-to-fans-on-one-direction-s-5-year-anniversary-we-wouldn-t-be-here-without-you

Scott, M 2015, Managing Director ABC, Twitter, viewed on 23 July 2015, https://twitter.com/mscott

The Australian, 2015 ‘ABC shops to close nationwide as sales move online‘ viewed 23 July 2015, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/abc-shops-to-close-nationwide-as-sales-move-online/story-e6frg996-1227453384488?utm_content=SocialFlow&utm_campaign=EditorialSF&utm_source=TheAustralian&utm_medium=Twitter

Trendsmap Real-time twitter trends, digital image, Trendsmap, viewed on 23 July 2015, http://www.trendsmap.com


Week Two Blog Activity – Inquiry: Review Trendsmap